Smart Cities Mission: First 22 cities to be ready by next month

New Delhi, 12 Feb: Agra, Varanasi, Chennai, Pune and Ahmedabad are among the 22 cities that will complete all projects under the government’s ambitious Smart Cities Mission by next month, giving their citizens better quality of life and a clean and sustainable environment, officials said on Sunday.
In the remaining 78 cities selected under the mission, the ongoing projects will be completed in the next three-four months, a senior official of the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry said.
The Narendra Modi government launched its flagship Smart Cities Mission on June 25, 2015 and 100 cities were selected for redevelopment through four rounds of competition from January 2016 to June 2018.
According to the ministry, the mission’s objective is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give its citizens a decent quality of life and a clean and sustainable environment, besides adopting “smart solutions” to various issues.
The 22 smart cities where all projects will be completed by March are Bhopal, Indore, Agra, Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Coimbatore, Erode, Ranchi, Salem, Surat, Udaipur, Visakhapatnam, Ahmedabad, Kakinada, Pune, Vellore, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Madurai, Amaravati, Tiruchirappalli and Thanjavur.
“We will complete 22 smart cities by March as projects in these cities are in final stages. In the next three-four months, we will be completing the project works of the remaining cities,” the official told PTI.
The implementation of Smart Cities Mission at the city level is done by a special purpose vehicle. These SPVs plan, implement, operate, monitor and evaluate their Smart City projects.
On February 6, Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishore told Rajya Sabha that as on January 27 this year, out of 7,804 projects worth Rs 1,81,322 crore for which work orders have been issued in the 100 smart cities, 5,246 projects worth Rs 98,796 crore have been completed.
The central government has released Rs 36,447 crore under the mission, of which Rs 32,095 crore (88 per cent) has been utilised.
According to the mission guidelines, the central government will provide financial support to the extent of Rs 48,000 crore over five years, on an average Rs 100 crore per city per year. An equal amount on a matching basis will be contributed by the state government or urban local body.
The ministry has said that currently, there is no proposal under consideration of the government for adding more cities under the Smart Cities Mission. (PTI)